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Leadership course for mid-career clinical academics

ADAPT TO LEAD scheme: A creative approach to leadership and resilience

Application are now open for the Academic Careers Office’s ADAPT to Lead scheme. This is an exciting leadership course for mid-career clinical academics that will help you to understand and develop your personal leadership style and build a successful foundation for an independent research career.

WHERE: At UCL campus

WHEN: w/c 1 JUNE – w/c 20 JULY (8 weeks)

TIME COMMITMENT: 4 hours per week (on Tuesday mornings starting on 2 June) and meetings with key leaders at UCL (TBC).


ADAPT to Lead is an experiential learning course and will involve lots of moving and very little sitting! You will be eased out of your comfort zone in a friendly, supportive and confidential environment to practice new ways of interacting, engaging, and leading. Using techniques distilled from elite performing artists, this course will enable you to:

  • Be comfortable interacting with anyone
  • Express your ideas with integrity
  • Lead any group with a strong, unifying goal
  • Create a culture of teamwork
  • Have the confidence to change course.

ADAPT to Lead course is facilitated by Gregory Thompson, an award winning theatre director and UCL Teaching Fellow in Creative and Collaborative Enterprise. Gregory has directed for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Young Vic and is currently Strategic Lead for Performance Creative & Applied Humanities at UCL.


In addition to the course, you will have the unique opportunity to meet with key leaders at UCL, hear about the challenges they face in senior roles and discuss your own challenges. The aim is to help you develop a more rounded thinking about your own approach to leadership. The meetings will be structured as boardroom debates and all participants will be encouraged to give their viewpoint and ask thought provoking questions. Note that debates will be subject to Chatham House rules.

Confirmed meetings:

  • Prof Geraint Rees, Dean of Life Sciences and PVP (AI) – on navigating institutional politics.
  • Dr Claire Glen, Director of Operations at the Faculty of Medical Sciences – on faculty challenges and priorities.
  • Prof Andrew Dick, Duke Elder Chair & Director of Institute Ophthalmology – on heading a department/institute.
  • Dr Nik Sharma, Senior Clinical Researcher at the MRC Unit for LHA – on leading the UCLH IAT programme and balancing research/clinic.
  • Dr Narges Amini, Senior Business & Innovation Manager at the TRO – on everything you should not do in translational research, commercialisation and spinning out.


“I am putting into practice the techniques that I learned from Greg and the results have been very positive so far. I feel less alone and more confident in my abilities as a leader. I highly recommend this course!” – participant

“I've seen a big improvement on my feelings of self-efficacy and wellbeing after having reached some big life/career goals. The course helped in terms of sharing worries and problems with a likeminded group (invaluable), collaborative working, self-awareness. I really enjoyed it.” - participant


The application deadline is Friday, 1 May 2020. To apply you will need to submit the following via an online form:

  • Your CV (max. 2 pages)
  • Confirm that you currently have supervisory/line-management responsibilities for at least one person.
  • Personal statement (max. 500 words) describing your personal view of how teamwork and leadership happens. This is deliberately open ended, so have fun with it!

Please see the UCL SLMS Academic Careers Office website for details on how to apply and FAQs:

Application form:

The course is free for clinical academic researchers at UCL and £700 for external clinical academic researchers.

If you have any queries, please contact Felipe Fouto in the ACO – f.fouto@ucl.ac.uk